As an independent cost consultancy, Core Five is dedicated to the succession of the next generation. Dominic Harling, having joined Core Five as a Project Surveyor in 2013 and recently being promoted to Partner, is fine example of our investment in the development of our team. Find out what Dominic has to say about his career at Core Five to date.
How did you start your career in construction?
I started my career as a summer placement student in the carefree summer of 2007. When I returned to work for my university placement year the following September, Lehman Brothers were about a week away from collapse and suddenly the industry didn’t look quite as rosy!
Since joining Core Five as a Project Surveyor in 2013, I have been promoted to Senior Surveyor, Associate and most recently made Partner in January 2023.
With the exception of being promoted to Partner, what are you most proud of during your time at Core Five?
Joining a company of just 20 people when I started 9 years ago, I’ve had a relatively unique opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the development of the company, from a junior, through to senior level. I am proud to have played my part in that and to have had the level of impact and exposure that would have been unlikely in a larger company. It’s been incredibly satisfying to see Core Five go from strength to strength over the years to develop into the fantastic company of 160 people we are today.
I’m also incredibly proud of the recognition Core Five has received from the industry during this time. A key measure for this is the calibre of the Client and Consultants we work with and the repeat work we undertake. In addition, not only being a finalist for the Building Awards – Consultant of the Year, for every year in that period, but also winning it four times, is a fantastic achievement and one we are all very proud of.
What qualities do you believe are important in order to be an inspiring role model for others?
That’s a difficult one! I think you have to just set the example wherever possible. Try to demonstrate good behaviours and offer encouragement to those around you.
Describe your approach to leading a project team?
Leading from the front, creating an enjoyable and aspirational environment, and most importantly being able to listen, are the values I consider most important.
I try to create an environment where the team members feel a sense of personal responsibility, but are able to put that into practice within a supporting and collaborative environment. Bonding as a team is also very important, we need to be able to react to pinch points in the ebb and flow of the project lifecycle, assisting each other and communicating openly.
The standards of delivery we set ourselves within the team are very high, it is essential that all members of the team understand the reasons for this and to take pride in being able to meet them.
I hope that the people who work with me feel fulfilled, challenged, and most importantly happy, when they leave the office in the evening.
What advice would you give to your younger self or someone aspiring to be a Partner at Core Five?
To younger people making their way in the industry, I would say it’s so important to get the work life balance right (despite it being hard to do so at times!). I’m trying not to give the cliched response of ‘work hard play hard’ but fundamentally both are very important. Or at least substitute out the ‘play hard’ with ‘relax well!’. We only get one shot at life so we have to make the most of all aspects of it. We all go through very busy periods at work and in those times it’s important to put in the extra effort to get that balance right.
In regards to becoming a partner at Core Five, you need to put yourself out there, be innovative, and show those around you what you can offer. Be keen to put your hand up to help with the ‘extra curricular’ activities outside of your day to day project role. My consideration was always ‘how can I add benefit to the company when sitting at that table..?’. The Partner group is very much a collective and it’s important that a new Partner seeks to add benefit to the whole.
Fundamentally it’s important to understand your strengths and your weaknesses and develop both. But not to over think these or let either dictate your progress and hold you back.